The tourism minister said that the sector will be the biggest generator of global employment in the next decade.
«Globally, our sector is going to be the biggest employment generator in the next decade. A difference from other areas where the advance of automation destroys employment, in tourism generates even more jobs,» says Gustavo Santos, National Minister of Tourism. His portfolio is preparing for the World Tourism Summit, which will be held on April 18 and 19 in Buenos Aires. «Its the first time this is happening in Argentina. It is an important event that is part of the dynamics of the G20 and brings together the CEO of the entire world industry: large hotel chains, international travel agencies, airlines and new technology companies, «says Santos, in dialogue with “El Económico”. In 2017, the total contribution of Travel and Tourism to GDP in Argentina was $1055.8 million, 10.3% of the GDP. For this year, the sector is expected to grow 4.3%, well above than expected average for the rest of the economy, around 3%. Santos hopes that the Summit would be scene of new announcements. «We hope to have new investments in airlines, accommodation and some technology issues.»
– How many jobs does tourism generates today and how many do they expect to exist by 2020?
-Nowadays, there are practically 1.1 million jobs – the 5.4% total of national employment- and we will be creating some 300,000 more here by 2020. The data shows that last year reached the highest number of the series, with 270,000 direct places in accommodation and gastronomy. To this we must add all the indirect positions. Tourism is 10% registered employment. The incidence of the sector is very important, we are going to be generators of employment in a sustained way. Last year we had a record number of cabotage passengers, with 13 million passengers, 2.7 million more than in 2015. And this is going to grow more. In 2020 I hope that we have 20 million Argentines flying, and in 2025 we can reach 30 million. If you generate more supply, the demand appears. And that is what we are doing with the new airlines that joined the market. The impact is already seen, but it is still incipient. The alternatives for traveling are going to be multiple, making it more accessible. To the extent that we unregulate the market and there is more supply, there will be a downward trend in prices. Last year we had 52 million internal trips. The goal for 2020 is 70 million travelers. Today, 40% of people travel. We want 60% of the population to make at least one trip a year, that travel becomes a vital aspirational.
– Internal tourism is a record, but at the same time, the Argentinian abroad sellings are record too. And the balance of the tourism balance is largely deficient. How is this unbalance resolved?
-The Argentine travelers abroad are a lot. We have more emissive trips in absolute values ??than Brazil, which has more population than Argentina. The first thing I want to make clear is that we would never put any obstacle so that Argentines can travel where they want and when they want it with their money. But we must also consider that in the Central Bank account wich measures these movements the expenses are overestimated and revenues are underestimated.
This happens because the account with the tourism data and credit card expenses abroad, includes e-commerce purchases and other payments in dollars, such as the Netflix or Spotify subscription, for which they are expenses that are in dollars but they are not made abroad. Also, not all the income of dollars is made through a house of exchange. The expenses of Argentines abroad are US$10,000 or US$11,000 million according to the Central Bank, but if we discount the e-commerce and the payments that are paid by card, it would be 30% or 40% less. So, the deficit is US$2,000 or US$3,000 million. We estimate that the departure of travelers from Argentina will have a ceiling, we do not know what it will be yet, and we believe that the entry of foreign tourists, as we develop connectivity, will grow. Today they enter 6.8 million and we expect to have 9 million in 2020 that will leave US$8,000 million. We will be at equilibrium level by 2020.
-What is needed for foreign tourism to grow?
-The development of a tourist destination is directly proportional to its connectivity. You have to develop the offer. What the planet will demand the most are natural destinations. People demand what they do not have. The main emissive countries have destroyed the natural spaces and that does not come back. Thats why we want to double reserves and parks. We want that in a decade, when the world thinks of nature, think of Argentina. In 2030 there will be 1,800 million trips in the world, 600 million more than there are today. And those trips are going to be the destination that has charge capacity and offers attractions. Traditional destinations are going to be left with a part of this, but they no longer have the capacity to absorb more tourism. We hope that Argentina is prepared for that.
Hotelería y Turismo 2º